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The Buying of the President 2004: Who's Really Bankrolling Bush and His Democratic Challengers -- and What They Expect in Return
Sam Smith's Great American Political Repair Manual: How to Rebuild Our Country So the Politics Aren't Broken and Politicians Aren't Fixed
American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism & Toxic Warfare
The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy
Into the Buzzsaw: Leading Journalists Expose the Myth of the Free Press
Just consider what current events will sound like two thousand years from now -- the greatest nation on Earth bombing some of the smallest and weakest for no clear reasons, people starving in parts of the world while farmers are paid not to plant crops in others, technophiles sitting at home playing electronic golf rahter than the real thing, and police forces ordered to arrest people who simply desire to ingest a psychoactive weed. People of that era will also likely laugh it all off as fantastic myths...
It is time for those who desire true freedom to exert themselves -- to fight back against the forces who desire domination through fear and disunity.
This does not have to involve violence. It can be done in small, simple ways, like not financing that new Sport Utility Vehicle, cutting up all but one credit card, not opting for a second mortgage, turning off that TV sitcom for a good book, asking questions and speaking out in church or synagogue, attending school board and city council meetings, voting for the candidate who has the least money, learning about the Fully Informed Jury movement and using it when called -- in general, taking responsibility for one's own actions. Despite the omnipresent advertising for the Lotto -- legalized government gambling -- there is no free lunch. Giving up one's individual power for the hope of comfort and security has proven to lead only to tyranny.
You had to take those pieces of paper with you when you went shopping, though by the time I was nine or ten most people used plastic cards. . .It seems so primitive, totemistic even, like cowry shells. I must have used that kind of money myself, a little, before everything went on the Compubank.
I guess that's how they were able to do it, in the way they did, all at once, without anyone knowing beforehand. If there had still been portable money, it would have been more difficult.
It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.
I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?
That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn't even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn't even an enemy you could put your finger on.
. . . Things continued on in that state of suspended animation for weeks, although some things did happen. Newspapers were censored and some were closed down, for security reasons they said. The roadblocks began to appear, and Identipasses. Everyone approved of that, since it was obvious you couldn't be too careful. They said that new elections would be held, but that it would take some time to prepare for them. The thing to do, they said, was to continue on as usual.
By the time Oscar reached the outskirts of Washington, DC, The Louisiana air base had benn placed under siege.
The base's electrical power supply had long since been cut off for lack of payment. The aircraft had no fuel. The desperate federal troops were bartering stolen equipment for food and booze. Desertion was rampant. The air base commander had released a sobbing video confession and had shot himself.
Green Huey had lost patience with the long-festering scandal. He was moving in for the kill. Attacking and seizing an federal air base with his loyal state militia would have been entirely too blatant and straightforward. Instead the rogue Governor employed proxy guerrillas.
Huey had won the favor of nomad prole groups by providing them with safe havens. He allowed them to squat in Louisiana's many federally declared contamination zones. These forgotten landscapes were tainted with petrochemical effluent and hormone-warping pesticides, and were hence officially unfit for human settlement. The prole hordes had different opinions on that subject.
Proles cheerfully grouped in any locale where conventional authority had grown weak. Whenever the net-based proles were not constantly harassed by the authorities, they coalesced and grew ambitious. Though easily scattered by focused crackdowns, they regrouped as swiftly as a horde of gnats. With their reaping machines and bio-breweries, they could live off the land at the very base of the food chain. They had no stake in the established order, and they cherished a canny street-level knowledge of society's infrastructural weaknesses. They made expensive enemies. . .
Louisiana's ecologically blighted areas were ideal for proles. The disaster zones were also impromptu wildlife sanctuaries, since wild animals found chemical fouling much easier to survive than the presence of human beings. After decades of wild subtropical growth, Louisiana's toxic dumps were as impenetrable as Sherwood Forest.
Saturday, April 26, 2003
Other news from Antiwar:
State Dept official calls Gingrich "an idiot"
Santorum introduces bill to cut funding to schools that allow criticism of Israel.
shrubco admits Iraq was the weakling the US scapegoated for 9/11.
10:31 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Pentagon's plutocrat shills being flown into Baghdad to staff Garner's Iraqi exiles-in-government [a]The team of Iraqi technocrats was selected by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz but is officially employed by a defense contractor, SAIC, the officials said. The team is headed by Emad Dhia, an engineer who left Iraq 21 years ago and who will become the top Iraqi adviser to General Garner. As head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, General Garner is functioning as Iraq's civil administrator.
Mr. Dhia was chosen by Mr. Wolfowitz because of his role as the leader of a group called the Forum for Democracy in Iraq, whose members span the full spectrum of Iraq's Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Kurdish and Christian minorities, administration officials said. They said that members of that group played a leading role last year in a State Department project on the future of Iraq.
Mr. Dhia, who is on a leave of absence from the Pfizer pharmaceutical company in Ann Arbor, Mich., worked with the Pentagon to select other members of the team, many of whom were drawn from his organization, the officials said.
10:04 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Dana Priest's The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace with America's Military: James Fallows review [a]Priest calls these CinCs "proconsuls to the [American] empire," and she emphasizes how independent, influential, and important they have become. (The military has a variety of other "Commands" headed by CinCs, like the Special Operations Command, but Priest stresses that the regional CinCs are the ones with real power.) The rise of the CinCs began with the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols military reform act in 1986. The act was designed to correct the excesses of inter-service rivalry, and among other effects it gave regional CinCs sweeping authority over all the services operating in their geographic theater. The Commandant of the Marine Corps, in the Pentagon, has no influence over the Army or Air Force and is officially part of the Navy. But when Anthony Zinni, a Marine Corps general, was CinC for the Central Command, he could issue direct orders to the generals and admirals from all services in his region.
I finished the book admiring it greatly and feeling that its shaggy organization actually underscored the message it conveys. The real subject of Priest's book is how large and ungainly the American empire has grown, and how the military, with all its range and power, is challenged and sometimes overwhelmed by the effort to keep it in order.
9:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Friday, April 25, 2003
Irony is dead file:
shrub calls Santorum "inclusive man"
10:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Search referral timedrunk, "wetting her bed"
Japanese fetish traditional condom grass.
moroccan masonic emails
"saddam hussein" and childfree
jazz, hope, de
behavior and compatibility of piranhas
kava "fucked up"
flag sucking half wits
paedophile assassination teams
statistics for music-related suicides each year
beaver against enemies picure
fluoridated zones in montreal
pitt-bull terrier fight mp3
director and email address for weed company in saudi arabia
how to get free playing cards from penatagon
10:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Anyone know anything about Basil Wainwright's oxygen/UV blood purification method of deactivating coronaviruses (like SARS)? [David Icke]
1:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
You have to hit the wallet for the light to go on
Tight state budgets forcing some states to consider drug treatment instead of incarceration
stateline.org was down just now, so the link is to the Undernews page with the story and link.
12:20 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Pretty good piece (from the decidedly rightwing Newsmax -- though based on this report in the Lebanese paper Sawt al-'Uruba) on the real story behind the military success in Iraq [u]The unprecedented collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, quashed with dizzying speed and negligible casualties, was not the result of good luck or overwhelming force of arms. It was largely due to cell phones manned by CIA psy-ops agents conducting a telemarketing campaign selling surrender to the enemy?s top commanders.Here's the Arabic page for The Arab Voice, which I guess is what "Sawt al-'Uruba" translates to in English.
Amazingly, as part of the operation, some of those "human shields" who went to Iraq were really CIA agents sent to deal with Iraqi generals thinking of defecting as well as to identify the military targets where Saddam put them.
According to a credible account in a Lebanese newspaper it says was based on information confided by top U.S. sources, the campaign resulted in the defection of the top ranks of the Republican Guard and the Iraqi army, who defected en masse, leaving their troops to melt away as U.S. forces advanced on Baghdad, saving the lives of thousands of coalition forces.
This page has a list of links to 100 Arab papers.
12:00 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thursday, April 24, 2003
NYC transit agency accused of cooking books to hide revenues while requesting subway/bus fare hikes
3:39 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
The incipient Gilead already seeded by shrubco's Christian Neo-fascists [Sassafrass]
On a related note, this page explores the biblical references in The Handmaid's Tale, which I would otherwise miss completely.The place name "Gilead" features as a sort of ideal land in the Bible, in Numbers 36. It is mentioned many other times in the Bible as one of the twelve traditional divisions of the land of the Hebrews. But Atwood was probably thinking of Jeremiah 8:22: "Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" This verse is famous because of its use in the old Black spiritual: "There is a balm in Gilead, to heal the sin-sick soul." In this Christian context, Gilead becomes the source of healing: Jesus Christ. One can imagine a fundamentalist group calling itself Gilead because of these associations; but the original context in Jeremiah (the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians) causes considerable irony. It may even be that Atwood was thinking of that verse when the narrator is not allowed to have hand lotion ("balm").The NeoCon Christian Zionists and their creepy mafiaesque "Family" being essentially Babylonians with a parochial yet flagellant flair for bondage and Brutal Radioactive Crusades for Christ.
Not hard to imagine a Breughel/Burroughs fantasy scene of life under that Purpling Whip.
Remember the Knights Templar:The Knights built the world's first multi-national corporation, a huge network of castles, farms and ships all designed to make money to support the Crusades. This financial empire helped Richard the Lionheart and the king of France, but it also raised suspicions that these "holy men" were growing too powerful and independent. Thus began the accusation of heresy--and the burning at the stake.Perhaps a sobering lesson lurks there for shrubco -- surely the New Multi-National Temple of Commerce and Christ -- and their Priestly Minions in Armani Suits.
Perhaps this time it will be smart mobs that set up the stakes, not rival bandit-kings.
Or perhaps not.
"Let's party like it's 1399. . ."
* * *
A surreal sidenote: there's a descendant of the Scottish Royal Stewart family who has written a book on the Knights which claims they were actually an attempt to establish a cultural exchange and reconciliation of Islam and Christianity.
He stresses his "Islamic heritage", and the Islamic core of the Knights' spiritual philosophy.
So...why can't we all just...get along?
2:30 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
From Stan Goff's summary of the warThen the looting began, and the US stood by. I saw it in Haiti. Let the chaos rein for a bit and they will beg for order, even if it comes from unwelcome quarters. Certain facilities were protected, like the Oil Ministry building. Then there was the most symbolic event of the war, in my opinion.And on the half-life of both neocon & neoliberal worldviews:
Iraq is the geographic and cultural cradle of Western civilization. The US military was sent to attack this cradle of civilization, and the US military initiated the looting of the Museum of Archeology, where 7,000 years worth of priceless artifacts were kept to posterity. Eyewitnesses report that before the looting began, Americans had been keeping the streets clear with gunfire. Then they pulled up in front of the Museum and started firing into it. I saw a tank round's hole in the front on a CNN report, far too high for a looter to have made it. They murdered the two Sudanese guards in front of the administrative building, then directed the looters, through the US military's Arabic translators, to enter the building and gut it. By April 15th, the National Archives as well, where millions of pages of historical documents, some centuries old, were stored, was looted, and the precious records burned by a street mob while US military looked complacently on.
Corpses have now become a familiar phenomenon for a new generation of US soldiers. Many will return now with their heads filled with corpses and their bodies filled with depleted uranium. They will have their moment of intoxicating adulation in public and the corpses will sneak up on them in private. Then the DU will sneak up on them.
Some people learn to live with corpses. Some learn to relish the freedom of killing and develop a taste for it. Perfect masculinity is sociopathic. A young Marine who had just killed a woman at a checkpoint said, matter of factly, "The chick was in the way." Gangster. Badass.
Others, as the transitory adulation fades, will sense the barrenness of their wounded psyches backlit by the barrenness of a decaying consumer culture, and their alienation will flower into addiction, psychosis, and suicide. And then will we see THEM as pathological.The apocalyptic Bushite nonsense about Evil is a sop to the Christian right in the United States who believe this period is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. They are a key part of the Bush junta's popular base in the United States, and - as Christian Zionists - part of the powerful popular Israel lobby. But the Neocons' blueprint, laid out some years ago, for leaping over this period of an impending severe crisis of US hegemony, is hard-eyed secularism. Their true weakness is bourgeois myopia and incredible hubris. They are constitutionally incapable of understanding history as a process that involves the masses.
Neoliberalism - the form of US imperialism - was falling into disarray before September 11th. It was a transformation of US imperialism that dated back to the Nixon administration, itself a strategy to overcome profound structural weaknesses in the system - not the least of which was the organic composition of capital - wherein the industrialized North collaborated in the harvest of the dependent global South. The character of that transformation has been written on at length - but dollar hegemony was its linchpin, and the basis of dollar hegemony, at the end of the day, was military might.
The most fundamental characteristic of Neoliberalism was that this "benign" leadership of the US was accepted by lesser imperial powers because the US served as an essential umpire for a multilateral system of exploitation and accumulation.
The difference between the Neoliberals (think of the Democrats) in the US and the Neocons (think Republican within Republican) is not on the question of exploitation and accumulation. They are equally devoted to preserving the status and privileges of the US ruling class, of which both are a part.
The difference revolves around two opposing delusions; the Neoliberal delusion that there is a way to return to the multilateral gluttony of the recent past - with the US reassuming its role of benevolent father - and the Neocon delusion that the US can have its economic cake and eat it too by playing the part of a global protection racket on energy markets.
The Neoliberals cannot solve the problem of rebellion in the periphery and the falling rate of profit. The Neocons cannot solve the problem of military costs - economic and political.
1:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
xymphora on the suspicious links between the looting and the US militaryA coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy, met with U. S. Defense and State Department officials prior to the start of the attack to lobby for an easing of export restrictions on Iraqi antiquities. Why would such an organization meet with the Pentagon unless they anticipated that the attack on Iraq would 'liberate' antiquities under the jurisdiction of the United States as occupying power of Iraq? This meeting might have put Pentagon officials in touch with those who could choose the right things to steal and could market them. British archaeologists have actually claimed that the U. S. government had given in to pressure from private collectors to allow stolen Iraqi antiquities to be traded on the open market. It is also possible that gossip in the trade indicated that antiquities would be available after the attack.
1:25 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
UK to aid in DU removal, unlike US
1:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
FoxNews engineer charged with looting Iraqi art
5:37 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Pentagon said the prestigious British Royal Society backed their claims that DU is harmless; the Royal Society says bullshit [u]Hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium used by Britain and the United States in Iraq should be removed to protect the civilian population, the Royal Society said yesterday, contradicting Pentagon claims it was not necessary.This is one of the outrages of the Iraq invasion -- and American troops as well as Iraqis are going to get sick because of it.
The society's statement fuels the controversy over the use of depleted uranium (DU), which is an effective tank destroyer and bunker buster but is believed by many scientists to cause cancers and other severe illnesses.
The society, Britain's premier scientific institution, was incensed because the Pentagon had claimed it had the backing of the society in saying DU was not dangerous.
In fact, the society said, both soldiers and civilians were in short and long term danger. Children playing at contaminated sites were particularly at risk.
5:09 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Note to shrubco:
It would be a good idea for the US to support leaders in Iraq who aren't the most corrupt and dangerous thugs on the block [u]A native of Mosul province, Juburi was initially a member of Saddam's personal guard but later joined his motorcycle escort. In 1991, he led an army unit that participated in the suppression of the popular uprising in southern Iraq following Saddam's occupation of Kuwait. He formed a close relationship with the president's homicidal older son, Odey Saddam Hussein, and after his defection to the liberated Kurdish region of northern Iraq reportedly made a fortune by trading with money amassed during his friendship with Odey. Some Iraqi exiles believe his relationship with Odey continued even after his defection.
"Misha'an Juburi is one of the butchers," claimed Ghanem Jawad, head of the human rights department of the London based KHOEI Foundation, a Shia Philanthropic organisation. "People are very afraid of him. In 1992, soon after his defection, he told a meeting of Iraqi opposition Leaders in Salaheddine in Northern Iraq: 'I am a Sunni, head of a powerfull Sunni Tribe. We have killed thousands and thousands of Shia.' He thought this was a way of impressing his importance on the opposition."
5:03 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
While "tax cuts no matter what" is the mantra of shrubco, states face their worst budget shortfalls since WWII [u]At a time when the governor of Missouri has ordered every third light bulb unscrewed to save money, when teachers are doubling as janitors in Oklahoma and working two weeks without pay in Oregon, when Connecticut is laying off prosecutors and Kentucky is releasing prison inmates early, the veterinarian crisis in Nebraska may seem like small potatoes.
Nebraska has dismissed two of its three state diagnostic veterinarians, meaning a rancher with a sick cow in Scottsbluff now has to drive the length of the state to see what's up with Nellie.
That cutback, the state equivalent of rooting for coins in a car ashtray, is a prime example of how far the pain of anemic state treasuries has spread -- and not only in Nebraska, a state where almost 25,000 poor mothers have lost health care and where state college tuition has been raised 20 percent over two years.
"State governments are under siege," said Angela Monson, president of the National Conference of State Legislatures. "This is the real deal, and it's only going to get worse."
4:50 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Undernews article survey on small schools
4:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Reason and Stratfor: fear, misinformation and draconian containment policies are the real plague
2:07 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Quake 6.7 or above 62% likely in Bay area thorugh 2035
2:04 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
There's been a "massive increase" in military personnel seeking conscientious objector status since January
Few are granted, and it can take up to 2 years to happen. But this is significant anyway.
2:01 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sanitariumwhoops Santorum compares homosexuality with "bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery"
His email page.
1:56 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
xymphora highlights this Harper's article on the Christian Neo-fascist MafiaRemarkably like the September 11 terrorists, these young men gather into a small formation called a 'core group' or 'cell', described as 'a publicly invisible but privately identifiable group of companions.' The stated goal of the group is to establish a large network of Christian youth groups from which people will be selected for positions of power in business and government in the United States and in foreign countries (i. e., staff the leadership of American and foreign countries and businesses with those indoctrinated with the views of 'the Family').Haven't had time to read it in its entirety yet, but it looks essential.
The article describes an extraordinarily creepy guy named Doug Coe who leads 'the Family', and who explains the importance of what he calls a 'covenant', a secret agreement made among a very small group (read the chilling parables of King David and Genghis Khan on page 7 by Doug's son David to see what they really mean by 'Jesus'). Hitler and the Mafia are described as examples of those who have made covenants.
It's written by Jeffrey Sharlet of Killing the Buddha.
1:48 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Gingrich comes out swinging at the wimpy State Dept for the
New Holy Fascist DirectorateDefense Policy Board [a]It was a stunning attack from someone so closely identified with Rumsfeld and the neo-conservative hawks around him. "I've never seen a wholesale attack on America's entire diplomatic establishment like this," said Charles Kupchan, a foreign-policy expert at Georgetown University. "This is fundamentally about ideology and the efforts of the neo-conservatives to institutionalize their victories over the moderate and liberal internationalists."I know -- let's give the neocons and the CFR neoliberals some nasty weapons and let them fight it out in the desert somewhere.
It also illustrates the degree to which relations between the State Department and the Pentagon hawks has moved to open warfare as both sides jostle for control of policy in Iraq and the broader Middle East. "I think it is designed to scare people into thinking that anyone who challenges the right wing is going to suffer for it. He wants to get these people who in his mind pervert presidential policy out on the street," said Richard Murphy, who served as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs under Ronald Reagan and is currently a Middle East expert with the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations.
At least the shadow side of US foreign policy is being played out in the open now.
1:39 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
New York Times offices now "republic of fear" under new executive editor Howell Raines [u]According to insiders, Raines is the kind of 1950s-style autocrat who manages through humiliation and fear. Aside from right-hand men Gerald Boyd and Andy Rosenthal and a core of loyalists, morale is said to be at a new low. There are many rooms in that palace and nobody sees the whole picture. But, says one source, "the old timers who lived through the worst of [former executive editor] Abe Rosenthal say they have never seen anyone be so arrogant, so petty, so mean. Vindictiveness is in." Another source says, "It's no longer about managing down. It's about paying obeisance to the king." Among cognoscenti, 43rd Street is now known as the "republic of fear."
1:34 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
War crimes are for losers [u]War crimes are always perpetrated by the loser in war. Though both sides may commit crimes, the victors have always been able to turn might into right, ignoring their own violations and penalising their enemy. At Nuremberg in 1945, the western states knew that their bombing of German cities could pose awkward questions and they quietly dropped their charges against the Luftwaffe; the democracies sat side-by-side with the Soviet Union, which many people argued at the time could itself be regarded as guilty on several of the same counts for which German leaders were indicted.Richard Overy also summarizes how claims against the Coalition could be brought -- but won't be.
1:10 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, April 22, 2003
Escalating battle between workers and owners/police over occupation of clothing factory symbolizes Argentina's economic crisis
The workers have been expelled twice but won in court both times.
Here's a report by a Marxist that explains the situation.
The workers just want to get paid, not start a revolution, apparently.
But any attempt to create an alternative to the inherently fascist hierarchy of capitalism is viewed by many as communist (which has also tended toward rigid hierarchical control), regardless of the intentions of the people involved.
11:33 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
CDC Reviews Private Records of Atlanta Students Without Telling Parents
2:07 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, April 21, 2003
The new blacklisting in Hollywood [a]Another person who does not find Hollywood particularly liberal these days is the comedian and actress Janeane Garofalo, whose outspoken views on Iraq have made her the object of a vicious e-mail and telephone campaign that has intimidated ABC into pushing her new sitcom, Slice O'Life, into next year's mid-season. Again, the network's fear of losing viewers and advertisers seems rather stronger than its desire to defend one the freedom of speech of of its stars.
The intimidation experienced by Ed Gernon, the CBS producer, or the Dixie Chicks, is certainly having its effect. In his speech to the National Press Club, Robbins cited an unnamed "famous middle-aged rock-and-roller" who thanked him for speaking out against the war but said he did not dare do the same himself because of the power of Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio station owner, which has an unabashed pro-Bush agenda. "They promote our concert appearances," the rocker said. "They own most of the stations that play our music. I can't come out against the war."
6:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
The Observer's reading guide to Shia
6:41 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Short review of the British occupation of Iraq in the early 20th century [a]Iraq is the product of a lying empire. The British carved it duplicitously from ancient history, thwarted Arab hopes, Ottoman loss, the dunes of Mesopotamia and the mountains of Kurdistan at the end of the first world war. Unsurprisingly, anarchy and insurrection were there from the start.
The British responded with gas attacks by the army in the south, bombing by the fledgling RAF in both north and south. When Iraqi tribes stood up for themselves, we unleashed the flying dogs of war to "police" them. Terror bombing, night bombing, heavy bombers, delayed action bombs (particularly lethal against children) were all developed during raids on mud, stone and reed villages during Britain's League of Nations' mandate. The mandate ended in 1932; the semi-colonial monarchy in 1958. But during the period of direct British rule, Iraq proved a useful testing ground for newly forged weapons of both limited and mass destruction, as well as new techniques for controlling imperial outposts and vassal states.
6:36 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Meet the new boss file
Ba'ath party members quietly sliding back into power [a]Dozens of minders from the information ministry, who spied on foreign journalists for the security agencies, have returned to the Palestine Hotel where most reporters stay, offering their services as translators to unwitting new arrivals.
Seasoned bureaucrats at the oil ministry - including the brother of General Amer Saadi, the chemical weapons expert now in American custody - have been offered their jobs back by the US military. Feelers have also gone out to Saddam's health minister, despite past American charges that Iraqi hospitals stole medicine from the sick.
It has become increasingly apparent that Washington cannot restore governance to Baghdad without resorting to the party which for decades controlled every aspect of life under the regime.
It has equally become apparent that the Ba'ath party - whose neighbourhood spy cells were as feared as the state intelligence apparatus - will survive in some form, either through the appeal of its founding ideals, or through the rank opportunism of its millions of members.
6:31 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Thousands of Peruvian coca growers are marching on Lima demanding an audience with President Toledo and an end to forced eradication of coca crops
Background:Hugo Cabieses Cubas, who served as a consultant to DEVIDA [National Commission for Development and Life Without Drugs] until the end of 2002, also described the program as a failure. Cabieses said U.S. anti-drug aid to Peru comes too little, too late, and that most of the aid goes to U.S. consulting firms and NGOs. The U.S. "wants Peru to apply, as in Colombia, the fumigation [aerial spraying] of coca crops, and, as in Bolivia, the 'zero coca' strategy that has provoked more social violence," Cabieses explained. The U.S. gives more anti-drug aid to Colombia, said Cabieses, because that country "agreed to apply a policy of crop fumigation, scorched earth and population transfer." Even Peruvian police institutions doing anti-drug operations end up getting little U.S. aid, Cabiese charges, since most of it goes to U.S. Defense Department contractors like Dyncorp. The problem with Peruvian agencies like DEVIDA, concluded Cabieses, is that they have a "dollar-addicted" strategy -- that is, they exist in order to get U.S. anti-drug aid, rather than as a policy set by Peruvians for Peruvians
6:11 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
PATRIOT Act resistance growing...to date, 89 cities have passed resolutions condemning the Patriot Act, with at least a dozen more in the works and a statewide resolution against the act close to being passed in Hawaii.
"We want the local police to do what they were meant to do -- protect their citizens," said Nancy Talanian, co-director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Florence, Mass., which gives advice to citizens groups on how to draft their own resolution.
Although cities across the country passed antiwar resolutions before the attack on Iraq with little notice from the administration, Talanian said that the anti-Patriot Act resolutions are "not quite as symbolic" as those that passed against the war.
"Normally, the president and Congress don't pay that much attention when it comes to waging war," she said. "But in the case of the Patriot Act, the federal government can't really tell municipalities that you have to do the work that the INS or the FBI wants you to do. The city can say, 'No, I'm sorry. We hire our police to protect our citizens and we don't want our citizens pulled aside and thrown in jail without probable cause.' "
1:20 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Brownback, Zamp and Stupak camp with Christers [drudge]Six members of Congress live in a $1.1 million Capitol Hill town house that is subsidized by a secretive religious organization, tax records show.Sorry, couldn't resist that headline.
Few in the Fellowship are willing to talk about its mission.
"My living arrangements are totally appropriate and within the House rules," said Doyle. "There's no direct correlation between the tenants and the Foundation ? there are tenants who have absolutely zero involvement, and some do. And there's no benefit to live there, other than the fact that it's convenient."
Other than Doyle and DeMint, current and former lawmakers who have lived in the C Street house refused to comment. "We feel like it's nobody's business but our own," said former Rep. Steve Largent (news, bio, voting record), R-Okla., who lived there before leaving Congress to run unsuccessfully for governor in his home state last year.
That secrecy is unsettling to the Rev. Barry Lynn, a United Church of Christ minister who heads watchdog group Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
"What concerns people is when you mix religion, political power, and secrecy," Lynn said. "Members of official Washington should always be open and direct about the groups they choose to join, just to dispel any concerns that there's an inappropriate or unconscious agenda in these groups."
1:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
No more stuffing mattresses
DoT and Fed Reserve to begin "enhancing the design of U.S. currency every seven to ten years" to discourage counterfeiting, beginning this year [cryptogon]
So one day all your cash suddenly isn't "real money" anymore?
12:34 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Estonians blaze trail with widespread use of internet for everything from banking to public forums on legislation and cabinet meetings
12:17 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
80 at Reno volleyball tourney contract "flu" [drudge]
What about all that rash of cruise ship sicknesses a while back? Why is there suddenly a spate of mysterious maladies?
A higher stress level since 9/11 and the accumulated toxins of years of chemical production and saturation of the environment definitely weaken our immune systems.
But perhaps there's something more?
12:11 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, April 20, 2003
US blocks and booby-traps Oil Ministry, barring Iraqi employees from work
2:44 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Al Jazeera correspondent harassed and detained by "furious" UK officerThe Al-Jazeera correspondent said the British soldier said US-led forces "were dealing only with listed journalists who accompanied coalition forces."Welcome to the Free World, Iraq.
2:42 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
From The Agonist
Civilian weapons serchers claim "bureaucratic confusion and infighting have delayed their effort to a point that the search itself may be compromised." [link]
US not even bothering to protect Kirkuk oil fields.
US strongarms Russia on demands for UN role in Iraq.
US/Israeli plan to divert pipeline thorugh Israel instead of Syria sure to be focus of new Iraqi government -- and those opposing it.
10:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
1 in 4 Harlem children has asthma
10:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
from Sassafrass (9/23/02)
"Unconventional viewpoints at 'charging the canvas'
Opinions that will ruffle feathers, from someone who clearly knows their way around information and the blogosphere."
Blog of the Day
In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it; that the vast clandestine apparatus we built up to probe our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that the practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that the vast army of intelligence personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences to them and us.
-- Malcolm Muggeridge
Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
-- Mark Twain
NOT IN OUR NAME
(link to list against Iraq War)
Philip K. Dick
DEEPER NEWS LINK
The Global Beat
Progressive Review's Undernews
Guerrilla News Network
newshub top 25
Christian Science Monitor
The UK Guardian
Int'l Herald Tribune
The Smirking Chimp
Spin of the Day
USGS Earthquake update
Serendipity WTC page
xymphora (also Mid East)
Matt McVeagh's summary of theories
Namebase (Public Information Research)
FAS Intel Index
J Ransom Clark US Intel Bibliography
ARAP TWA 800 page
Gnostic Liberation Front
Philidelphia Experiment/Montauk Project
Military Intelligence by John Patrick Finnegan
BLOGS WITH A BULLET
Aron's Israel Peace Weblog
The Unbound Writer's Online Journal
The Mink Dimension
The Asylum Eclectica
VINTAGE BLOGS, DIVERSIONS
J. Orlin Grabbe Sassafrass
the null device
new world disorder
a dam site
This Modern World (the blog)
a bright cold day in april
wood s lot
Ethel the Blog
follow me here
Watch It! (site update notifier)
Ask Now (24/7 reference help)
The Virtual Acquisition Shelf & News Desk
Chilling Effects (online rights)
EIA Environment Consumer Education Initiative (Computer recycling)
The Center for Justice and Accountability
Astrodienst (free charts)
Institute of Noetic Sciences
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Fully Informed Jury Association
Privacy Rights Now
Contacting the Congress
Amer. Booksellers Found. Free Expression
Critical Resistance (prisons)
Working for Change
Contract with the Planet
Physicians for a National Health Program
insound (music and mags)
half.com (books & music cheap)
Web Source Sales (ink carts cheap)
Invisible Web search
They were past the motels now, condos on both sides. The nicer ones, on the left, had soothing pluraled nature-names carved on hanging wooden signs, The Coves, The Glades, The Meadowlands. The cheaper condos, on the right, were smaller and closer to the road, and had names like roaring powerboats, Seaspray, Barracuda's, and Beachcomber III.
Jackie sneezed, a snippy poodle kind of sneeze, God-blessed herself, and said, "I bet it's on the left, Raymond. You better slow down."
Raymond Rios, the driver and young science teacher to the bright and gifted, didn't nod or really hear. He was thinking of the motels they had passed and the problem with the signs, No Vacancy. This message bothered him, he couldn't decide why. Then Jackie sneezed and it came to him, the motels said no vacancy because they were closed for the season (or off-season or not-season) and were, therefore, totally vacant, as vacant as they ever got, and so the sign, No Vacancy, was maximum-inaccurate, yet he understood exactly what it meant. This thought or chain of thoughts made him feel vacant and relaxed, done with a problem, a pleasant empty feeling driving by the beaches in the wind.
from Big If by Mark Costello
Bailey was having trouble with his bagel. Warming to my subject, I kept on talking while cutting the bagel into smaller pieces, wiping a dob of cream from his collar, giving him a fresh napkin. "There's a pretense at democracy. Blather about consensus and empowering employees with opinion surveys and minority networks. But it's a sop. Bogus as costume jewelry. The decisions have already been made. Everything's hush-hush, on a need-to-know-only basis. Compartmentalized. Paper shredders, e-mail monitoring, taping phone conversations, dossiers. Misinformation, disinformation. Rewriting history. The apparatus of fascism. It's the kind of environment that can only foster extreme caution. Only breed base behavior. You know, if I had one word to describe corporate life, it would be 'craven.' Unhappy word."
Bailey's attention was elsewhere, on a terrier tied to a parking meter, a cheeky fellow with a grizzled coat. Dogs mesmerized Bailey. He sized them up the way they sized each other up. I plowed on. "Corporations are like fortressed city-states. Or occupied territories. Remember The Sorrow and the Pity? Nazi-occupied France, the Vichy government. Remember the way people rationalized their behavior, cheering Pétain at the beginning and then cheering de Gaulle at the end? In corporations, there are out-and-out collaborators. Opportunists. Born that way. But most of the employees are like the French in the forties. Fearful. Attentiste. Waiting to see what happens. Hunkering down. Turning a blind eye.
from Moral Hazard by Kate Jennings
HANKY PANKY NOHOW
When the sashaying of gentlemen
Gives you grievance now and then
What's needed are some memories of planing lakes
Those planing lakes will surely calm you down
Nothing frightens me more
Than religion at my door
I never answer panic knocking
Falling down the stairs upon the law
There's a law for everything
And for elephants that sing to feed
The cows that Agriculture won't allow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
Hanky Panky Nohow
-- John Cale